The laser cutting technology area has information on 2-D and 3-D cutting machines, optics, resonators, cutting gases, and automated material handling systems. In addition to conventional CO2 systems, it has information on solid-state fiber and disk lasers.
July 15, 2008
This article was developed from the Comparative Cutting Panel conducted at the Fabricators & Manufacturers Association's Metal Matters conference in Orlando, Fla., March 2008. The participants included Rick Neff (Cincinnati Incorporated), Chris Maier (Flow International), Jeff Hahn (MC Machinery Systems Inc./Mitsubishi Laser), Ron Schneider (Messer MG Systems & Welding Inc.), and Al Julian (W.A. Whitney Co., a division of MegaFab).
June 17, 2008 | By Tim Heston
How can laser technology make metal fabrication more efficient? The efficiency comes not only from advances within the laser itself, but also in new ways to integrate those lasers for optimal part flow on the shop floor. Several presenters at ALAW 2008 hammered this point home.
June 17, 2008 | By Dan Davis
This roundup of laser lens providers gives tips on extending the life of lenses used in laser cutting.
January 15, 2008 | By Tim Heston
Meeting a challenge sometimes requires out-of-the box thinking. One contract manufacturer employed a thorough knowledge of laser cutting, determination, ingenuity, and tenacity to successfully laser cut difficult-to-process materials.
January 15, 2008 | By Rich Greene
Lasers are capable of cutting thin-gauge metal and plate at incredible speeds and with outstanding results. But a laser also is capable of great damage to operators if the proper safety steps are not followed. To keep everyone safe and the laser cutting machine operating, a fabricating operation should have a safety program in place.
December 11, 2007 | By Rick Neff
The new high-powered lasers allow fab shops to serve a broader range of custom needs.
December 11, 2007
Hype Manufacturing invested in a horizontal machining center, two lathes, two vertical machining centers, a universal milling machine, tube bending equipment, a press brake, a laser cutting system, and a waterjet to support its racing effort.
October 9, 2007 | By Richard Green
Several modes of nitrogen assist gas supply exist, but with choice comes the potential of saddling your business with overhead costs that make it difficult to compete. The best approach is to map out a growth strategy, using each option's performance and value, that coincides with monthly nitrogen usage.
October 9, 2007 | By Michael Monaghan
As with so many other ventures in life, successfully implementing a laser automation system rests on one key practice: communication.
October 9, 2007 | By Dale A. Sabo
Remote laser welding operations, many of which rely on a laser scanner to deflect the beam to the weld area, require high-beam-quality lasers. Years ago this meant that they were used only with high-power CO2 lasers. As the beam quality of Nd:YAG, disk, and fiber-optic lasers have improved, these lasers also have become suitable for remote welding, allowing the scanners to be smaller and faster.
August 8, 2007 | By James Rogowski
The first rule of any technology used in a business is that automation applied to an efficient operation will magnify the efficiency.—Bill Gates, co-founder of Microsoft Corp.To say Mr. Gates lived his conviction successfully would be a vast understatement. To say following his path would be...
Fabricators are increasingly using compressed air in laser cutting, instead of relying on laser assist gases such as oxygen and nitrogen. Recent findings reveal that shop air can be used on more material types and thicknesses, including parts on which the edge quality is visible.
March 13, 2007 | By Elizabeth Kautzmann
What's the point in purchasing an expensive laser cutting machine if you are going to waste money-making opportunities by unloading parts manually? Good nesting software, proper maintenance, and the latest unloading technology can help to make automated laser cutting and unloading a reality.
A real breakthrough in high-speed laser cutting occurred in 2005. Two additional parallel kinematic drive axes were placed near the point where the laser exits the head, creating a laser cutting machine with one dynamic and light cutting torch capable of independent movement along two axes but working in precise synchronicity with the machine's more sweeping movement of the laser head. This new approach opened up new frontiers and much higher limits in processing speed.
February 13, 2007
An expanding metal fabrication shop invests in lasers to help it produce precision parts and manage tight lead times.